Keeping your child hydrated can be an uphill battle especially if they prefer sweeter alternatives such as juice and milk. Since we already know the benefits of drinking plain water (helps them to stay energised, regulates body temperature, prevents constipation and other illnesses), let’s dive into the five ways you can encourage better hydrating habits.
#1 Make it readily available
If water is the only option around, there’s a high chance that your child will request for a cup or two to satiate their thirst. Besides packing a bottle of water when you’re on-the-go, keep water in a sippy cup readily available around the house, especially around their play area, so they can easily reach for it when they do get thirsty.
#2 Make use of kid-friendly packaging
Young tastebuds might dislike the bland taste of water, so inject a little fun into it by using colourful, brightly decorated bottles. Besides making it look interesting, encourage your kid to take more ownership in their water consumption by letting them pick out their own sippy cup or bottle at the store. Throw in more incentive by letting them use colourful twisty straws to make drinking water extra fun.
#3 Make it fun
Creating little games can help your little one enjoy, and gradually form the habit of drinking water. For example, you could challenge your child to “drink till the water level reaches Peppa Pig’s dress”, or ask “Guess how many sips it will take you to finish the entire cup?” Keeping your child engaged will help them look forward to drinking water.
#4 Set a good example
Children often take cues from their parents, so it’s important to set a good example by drinking lots of water, especially when you’re around them. Encourage your kiddo to mimic your behaviour by emphasising key phrases like, “Water is my favourite!” or “I love drinking water!”, or even “I’m so thirsty, I’m going to drink an entire glass of water now.”
#5 Let them be independent
Encourage your little one to drink up like a big kid by teaching him how to get it straight from the water dispenser. Kids will enjoy that extra level of control – your child won’t even have to ask for water because he can serve himself!